Rosemary & Lemon Shortbread Cookies

I have always associated Rosemary to be a savoury herb, enhancing meats, roast potatoes, stews and vegetables with it’s woody, peppery fragrance so naturally when I came across a recipe that used Rosemary in a cookie I was a little sceptical. Curiosity got the better of me and well I do like to experiment with flavours and new ideas I gave them a try.

Happy to report it works! Using just enough rosemary to subtly flavour the cookies while keeping its’ sweetness from the honey and soft crumble from the butter. Another great way to use up my abundance of homegrown Rosemary. If you don’t like overly sweet treats this is ideal, I’d say the perfect medium between. No added sugar in this recipe and you can also add lavender flowers to this mix, I might try that next time.

A pleasingly sweet and herbaceous, buttery shortbread cookie, perfect for afternoon break with a cup of tea.

Rosemary & Lemon Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: 15 Cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

230g room temperature salted butter
¼ cup honey
2 cups all purpose flour
Zest from one organic lemon
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

Directions

  1. Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add honey and beat to incorporate.
  3. Then add the flour, rosemary and lemon zest, continuing to beat until all the ingredients are very well blended together.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190’C
  5. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Roll the dough into 1” balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Press the dough down a bit with a cookie press, fork, or your fingers.
  8. Top with extra rosemary if you like by pressing a few leaves gently onto the tops of each cookie.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown.
  10. The cookies may be very crumbly until they cool and harden.

Why you need to start making your own Strawberry Chia Jam at home

If you haven’t tried making your own jams before than you need to start. It is easier than you think, much more flavoursome and this recipe contains no added refined sugar so making it much better for you.

I’m an advocate of sugar free foods that is added refined sugars and only like to use natural sweeteners in small amounts where necessary. When making this strawberry chia jam I just let the juicy overripe strawberries be the star of the show. Adding some pure honey as a natural sweetener, though the real sweetness evolves when the strawberries are gently boiled and start to break down and soften.

Like most homemade products the quality starts from the produce. Look out for some good quality, ripe strawberries from your local fruit shop or farmers market usually on sale or quick sell stand are ideal. Adding chia seeds means you don’t need pectin which is the thickening agent used in most jams. Chia seeds absorb liquid when left to set and the added bonus is they are little balls of goodness. Chia seeds are full of protein, minerals and fibre they can be found in the health food isle in the supermarket or health food store.

Make sure to have sterilised jars handy to fill, let the jam set in the fridge until cool for a few hours at least and you will have juicy flavoursome fruit jam ready for your morning toast, afternoon scones or children’s sandwiches.

Homemade Strawberry Chia Jam

  • Servings: makes 2 large jars
  • Print

Recipe from Donna Hay

Ingredients

800g ripe strawberries, hulled and halved

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup maple syrup, honey or rice malt syrup

2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped

1 tablespoon white chia seeds

Directions

  1. Place the strawberries, lemon juice, water, maple syrup and vanilla beans and seeds in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  2. Cook for 15mins, stirring occasionally until strawberries are soft.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds. Transfer to sterilised Jars and refrigerate until cool.

Better for you Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Everyone loves a fudgy brownie the indulgent treat that most people feel incredibly guilty with each mouthful. But what if I told you, you can make them better for you?

Did you know that the average Australian consumes 3 times the amount of added sugar daily?

sugar

 

That is a huge increase over the years, while our recommended daily intake is only 6 teaspoons of sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men an average Australian is consuming up around 17 teaspoons that’s around 70g of sugar a day! It’s as little as having a glass of  store-bought orange juice and pre packaged cereal for breakfast with store-bought muesli bar or muffin for morning tea. They all contain added sugar which is hidden and without even knowing it you are already over your daily intake and you havent even had lunch yet.  (more…)

Blueberry & Vanilla Spelt Scones

IMG_1478

The Winter days have had me feeling more like baking. Maybe it’s because we don’t feel like braving the cold outside, the home comfort of staying warm indoors. Having time at home gives us some spare hours over the weekend to do the things we love in my case baking or maybe just because we feel like turning the kettle on more often to warm our frosty fingers. Whatever the reasons  I’m not complaining I love getting my hands dirty in the kitchen. There is just something so satisfying and homely about baking something from scratch wouldn’t you agree? (more…)

Strawberry Jam Coconut Slice

It only feels like the kids just went back to school for term 3 and now we are starting the school holidays again. I don’t know about you but it gets more difficult to keep the kids entertained as the year goes on. On the plus side the weather is warming up so beach and park days are definitely on the agenda and is free bonus.

Here is a old school favourite that I’ve adapted to a refined sugar free recipe and has a gluten free option. Another sweet kids treat without the sugar hit to feed the kids and their friends these holidays.

image

(more…)

Lets Talk About Matcha…

Have you tried Matcha Green Tea? Cooked with it? Or even know what it is?

image

This ancient Japanese green tea is an antioxidant powerhouse! This powerful superfood is made from Japanese green tea leaves stone ground into a powder form which makes an even higher amount of health benefits than green tea leaves itself. It supports sustainable energy and weight management, helps control stress levels and boosts immunity which can be helpful in cancer prevention.

Without getting too technical in a nutshell Matcha Green Tea can make you feel more relaxed, vitalise your skin and an overall powerful detox for your body.

image

So how do we use it?

There are many ways in which you can include Matcha in your day, easiest way is in your morning smoothies, smoothie bowls, adding it to heated milk to make an evening latte. You can also use it in baking cakes, biscuits, ice-cream and raw desserts.

The first time I’ve experimented in cooking with it I made a raw Matcha Mint Slice and I was definitely pleasantly surprised. It has more of a subtle flavour when mixed in baking but gives this vibrancy of colour that is just divine. The combo with the mint works so well together the possibilities are endless. The Japanese have a lot to say when it comes to health and vitality the figures show for itself. Start enjoying that cup of Matcha Green tea sooner rather than later and you will feel better for it. Makes sure to get an organic high quality ceremonial grade one, which is of highest quality, ask your health specialist at your local health food market for recommendations.

I will be trying a few different recipes with Matcha, some choc Matcha bliss balls may be next!

image

(more…)